Last night, December 5, the Republic of Ireland women’s football team recorded a 6-1 victory over Northern Ireland in Belfast’s Windsor Park, making it six wins from six in the UEFA Nations League for the Girls in Green. The game featured partners Lucy Quinn and Rebecca Holloway facing off on opposing sides for the second time this year, with the pair reflecting on the unique experience.
Quinn would have emerged from Tuesday’s game the happier of the two, having scored the opening goal, her fifth in 20 international fixtures, and helping her team to victory.
“They were compact and they were physical and I’m really proud of myself for being able to find the back of the net and starting a little bit of run and momentum that helped us get a second goal quite quickly,” Quinn told reporters after the match.
Speaking about playing against Holloway, she explained, “It’s a competitive game and you want each other to go out and do well…She’s probably annoyed with me but that’s football and that’s what we signed up for”.
Quinn added: “Football is football, we all love it and it brings people together. You want to have those little rivalries because it makes things exciting.”
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) December 5, 2023
The two number 15s previously went head-to-head in September, as the Republic of Ireland hosted their northern neighbours in a history-making fixture in the Aviva Stadium. Quinn also got on the scoresheet in that game, which finished 3-0 to the home side.
In the lead-up to yesterday’s match, the couple spoke to BBC Sport NI.
“You kind of forget that you are playing each other…You do get so caught up in the game,” Holloway admitted.
Quinn added, “Overall, I think it was really fun and definitely something very cool that we have done, that probably most other couples haven’t been able to do.
“I want you to do well as your other half but I also really wanted to win the game, but overall I think it was definitely something really cool.
“I just wanted you to go out and have your best game and if you had to kick me a couple of times, then that was that,” she concluded.
Speaking about Lucy’s goal in September’s match, Rebecca remembered, “I just thought, ‘that is not Luce on the edge of the box, that isn’t her’.” She conceded, “I’m obviously proud of you…Just don’t do it again – you have to let me score!”
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Unfortunately for Holloway and Northern Ireland, Quinn did do it again on Tuesday night. Her strike was followed by goals from Heather Payne, Kyra Carusa, Katie McCabe, Louise Quinn and Caitlin Hayes, with Northern Ireland’s goal scored by Kerry Beattie.
McCabe’s right-footed effort gained particular praise, with the LGBTQ+ athlete also earning the Player of the Match award. Reflecting on the Nations League campaign, the Republic of Ireland captain said it “has been fantastic”.
“Six from six. It couldn’t have gotten any better.”
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) December 5, 2023
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